Generally, there are two type of espresso machines that is commonly available in the market. Well, although Wikipedia stated there are 4 types overall, it seems the Pump type is pretty popular with the promises to generate thick crema.
Most experts has advised that if you are currently looking for an espresso machine to brew your own espresso, you should at least allocate about $200 (or above) and only get the pump type if you want the best bang for the buck.
The reason is because the pump type espresso maker has the capability to produce best espresso shot with correct temperature and brewing process. Also, machine above $200 is likely to have the sufficient pressure to generate the crema from the ground coffee.
Expert has stated that only those with 9-bar pump pressure or more is categorized as the machine that will make a good espresso shot. If it’s lower than 9-bar, don’t bother choosing them because you’ll regret it later when you can’t seem to pull the best shot.
The best espresso machines must meet the guideline for espresso preparation. a Right espresso is made with 1.5 ounces of water and 7 grams of very fine ground coffee. The water is heated to 195 degree Fahrenheit (about 90.5-degree Celcius), then forced through the filter filled with tamped ground coffee at about 9-bar of pressure (9 atmospheres of pressure – 130 psi) within 20 to 25 seconds.
The indication of a successful shot of espresso is the reddish crema above the espresso with about 1/4th of thickness. That’s why crema is very important and only machine with proper pressure and temperature can produce such thing.
Generally speaking, there is an easy way to choose an espresso machine if the price is not your problem. Just look at a machine that is heavy, big, and strong looking. Only on this type of machine, it can withstand more abuse and has the sufficient pressures to squeeze out the creamy crema topping the espresso.
Also, you should be looking for other integrated function like cup warmer, large water tank, and big removable drip tray. Cup warmer is very important as it will keep the cup warm to prevent the heat on the espresso from leaking away. You do want to drink a warm espresso with soothing effect, don’t you? That’s why you should find this additional feature important.
The reason for search for large water tank is because you don’t really have to get a refill on each cup of espresso made. Nowadays, the water tank is pretty big on most espresso machine. Make sure to get the one that has at least 1 liter capacity, where you can make about 3 to 4 cups of espresso before refilling the tank.
As for the drip tray, it also one of the most important feature for those who tend to spills the espresso. A large drip tray can prevent the table from espresso stains and make sure your cleaning sessions is as easy as possible.
So to sum it up all, to choose the best espresso machines will require you to find the following:
- Pump type machine, not steam type that has incorrect temperature and pressure
- Price above $200 – only this type of machine has enough pressures to brew the best espresso
- espresso machine with cup warmer, large water tank and drips tray
- Last but not least, find those with sleek looking to pair it up with your kitchen design
You can take a look at the guide of Breville Barista Express BES860XL, which is one of the best with 15-bar pump pressure machine.